hiddenfolks-v0-7-farm
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Hidden Folks, released today, offers a delightfully handmade iOS experience

Hidden Folks, which Kill Screen‘s Kathryn Madden originally covered last year, can best be described as an interactive Where’s Waldo? overflowing with personality. With little to no focus on goals, points, or challenge, players simply explore intricate landscapes in search of specific “targets” (or “folks”)  hidden throughout each scene. So much of the digital toy’s charm derives from its handmade feel, with illustrator Sylvain Tegroeg’s heavily inked art style creating lively scenes that feel populated without seeming overly busy. Indeed, the unusual joy of Hidden Folks is just how human and authored it feels, especially when most games (particularly in the free-to-play saturated app marketplace) tend to come…

Sunless Sea
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Sunless Sea will wash up terror and cannibalism on your iPad this spring

It was Failbetter Games’s seventh birthday yesterday, and so, to mark the occasion, the London-based studio decided to make an announcement. You remember that terrific nautical adventure game Sunless Sea (2015)? The one in which you sailed across a vast, dangerous ocean, collecting a range of stories, scars, and probably losing your sanity? Well, it’s only been available on PC before, but it’ll also be coming to iPad this spring. Great news, then. That’ll mean iPad owners can travel across the dreaded Unterzee with a tap of their finger, and from whatever real-world location they might find themselves in—handheld terror wherever…

Antioch
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Antioch: Scarlet Bay’s multiplayer approach to storytelling seems fresh

Antioch: Scarlet Bay looks like it’s set to take storytelling in videogames in a worthwhile direction. Out on April 6th 2017 for iOS and Android, it’s an adventure game set in the titular dark metropolis where you play as a detective investigating a homicide. That’s not the cool bit. It’s the fact that this is an online multiplayer game that should make you sit up and pay attention (it can also be played solo). Yes, there are two detectives working on this case, and you’ll have to cooperate with each other as you work through the game’s story. You’ll each set out into…

Neko Atsume
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Neko Atsume’s cats wash their faces now, plus there’s a new mysterious cat …

One of the most important games in the world (and don’t you forget it) Neko Atsume, the cat-collecting game, got an update last week. As you’d expect for this time of year, the update sees the return of the snow music as well as Christmas decorations to spotted around some of the scenes. There are also some new items such as a snow dome, an antique chair, cocoons, and a kotatsu (a wonderful, feet-warming invention). That is not all. In fact, this new update’s greatest gifts are the most elusive—you’ll have to be quick to spot them and take a snapshot.…

screen-shot-2016-12-15-at-12-18-53-pm
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Get ready to unlock the secrets of A Normal Lost Phone in January

It’s cold. You burrow further into your scarf, hoping to shield more of your face from the harsh winds biting at your cheeks. The streetlights do little in their attempt to guide you along the cobblestone street—the fog is too thick to distinguish shapes. As you walk, you squint against the way the light disperses among the thick mist, resembling soft glowing orbs that float in the night sky. The weight of your boot crunches against something that is not pavement. You glance down to find that it’s a phone. Removing your hand from your pockets, you bend down to…

Moonlight Express
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A Christmas game about equality rather than the craze

Around this time of year you can expect a number of things to definitely happen. One of those is that a bunch of shallow Christmas-themed games will turn up, hoping to feed on your festive spirit to turn a profit. Perhaps that’s mean spirited, cynical even, but hey, it’s true. In any case, it’s this annual event that has inspired Damir Stuhec and Lea Vervoort to create a Christmas game called Moonlight Express that they hope doesn’t feast so much on your good will. Stuhec is a programmer based in Slovenia and first got in contact with Vervoort,, who lives in…

KAMI 2
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KAMI 2 will let you create your own origami puzzles in 2017

State of Play is known for creating videogames out of physical materials. Their biggest to date is Lumino City (2014), an adventure game set across a mechanical metropolis that the team actually constructed out of paper, card, wood, miniature lights, and motors. Outside of that are smaller titles like INKS, which turns pinball into a form of painting, and KAMI (2013), a puzzle game made out of origami squares. The next game from State of Play is going to be KAMI 2, which once again is built from tiny pieces of colored paper, scalpels, and glue. Patience was also a crucial ingredient that went…

uw
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Rearrange a world of typography in unWorded

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. unWorded (iOS) BY BENTO STUDIO A hospitalized writer reflects on his life with the strange tales he has read and written over the years. This is the premise narrative puzzle game unWorded. It’s set in a world made of letters, which immediately draws comparison to Type:Rider and DEVICE 6, but it’s only an interest in typography that connects them. unWorded’s unique task is in creating pictures out of letters and punctuation. As the writer reads books from his past, you might have to piece together parenthesis and the…

Ekko
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Ekko’s pretty spaces will let you explore the butterfly effect

Rob Milus isn’t saying much, but it’s enough. He’s working on a game called Ekko with fellow game maker Peter Dijkstra, one that he’s only showed glimpses of on Twitter—abstract shapes floating across a space lit by a distant sun. I wanted to find out more, a lot more, but he only responded with a few sentences and a finger raised to his lips. “Shhhh.” Of what Milus told me and that I can share with you, it is that Ekko started off as an interest in the theory of the butterfly effect: “how a small change in one place can evolve…